Ceremony to follow at 11 a.m.

Sarasota, FL: The City of Sarasota, in conjunction with the Sarasota Patriotic Observance Committee, will host the annual Memorial Day parade in downtown Sarasota on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29 at 10 a.m.

The parade will start at Main Street and Osprey Avenue and conclude at J.D. Hamel Park, located at Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue, where a ceremony will be held at approximately 11 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend.

The theme for the 2017 ceremony is “Celebrate, Honor, Remember”, as the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway is recognized. The Battle of Midway occurred June 4-7, 1942 six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor. A decisive U.S. victory, it marked the turning point in the Pacific theater.

Sarasota Military Academy students will lead the parade carrying an American flag flown at the Battle of Midway, followed immediately by the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. James D’Angelo a local retired hematologist/oncologist who founded the Midway Memorial Foundation in 1992. His tireless efforts to recognize the significance of the Battle of Midway resulted in the 105th U.S. Congress designating the Midway Atoll as a national memorial. Dr. D’Angelo authored the book ‘Victory at Midway: The Battle that Changed the Course of WWII’, which will be published in late 2017. A military veteran, Dr. D’Angelo served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam era.

Prior to his address, Dr. D’Angelo will present a sterling silver Battle of Midway commemorative coin to retired Captain Robert O’Neill, 91, a Pearl Harbor survivor who lives in Bradenton.

In December 1941, O’Neill was a 16-year-old U.S. Navy seaman fresh out of boot camp in transit to serve in Australia with a layover in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He recalls walking to breakfast on the military submarine base just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941 when the first horrific attack occurred. 75 years later, the images of Japanese pilots approaching the base are still very vivid. He also remembers how he spent the next 30 hours: in a rescue boat pulling countless survivors and casualties from the oil slicked infernos raging on the water. O’Neill went on to serve honorably in the Navy for 37 years. He will turn 92 years old two days before Memorial Day.

Media: Retired Capt. Robert O’Neill and Dr. James D’Angelo will be available for interviews before the start of the parade at Sarasota Military Academy. For arrangements please contact Jan Thornburg: 941-954-2613.

For more information, please contact Sarasota County Veterans Services: 941-861-2899.

About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com


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